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  1. #1
    Doc4Pets is offline Member 510 points
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    Cat only practice?

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    I was just pondering the choice of vets who decide to have a cat-only practice. I had not even heard of such cat-only practices until I started reading some of the vet magazines/journals and was kind of befuddled at the motivations of such practice owners. Is it because they don't like dogs? Is it because they are such "cat people" that they want to devote their entire practice to cats. And such a practice doesn't look profitable at all!

    Conversely, I have never heard of a dog only practice. Personally, I couldn't even imagine not practicing on cats and dogs together. I would feel like my vet medicine studies were being severely underutilized with a cat-only practice. I know there isn't that much input in this forum but I know there will be someone out there that is considering a dedicated cat practice and could share their vantage point.

  2. #2
    ToraB is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Why do they do it? Because there's a market for it. Cats are the most popular pet in the US, out doing dogs by quite a significant amount (don't remember the exact numbers and don't really feel like looking for it right now). Therefore, it is a VERY profitable business. The vet I take my cats to is doing quite well and she is a "Cat only practice". Also, many cat owners, myself included, prefer to take their cats to places that are "cat only".
    Cats get stressed really easily and having to sit in a waiting room where dogs also are can be VERY stressful. Cats also aren't the easiest animals to work with. They usually get very stressed, they have sharp teeth and usually sharp claws, and aren't easily comforted by owners (like dogs) and also lack the training and socialization that dogs have. A veterinarian who only sees cats is going to be used to and comfortable working with cats and dealing with these issues. Also, a vet who deals only with cats is more than likely going to be more familiar with the diseases and symptoms that might be unique to the feline and be able to diagnose and treat earlier and easier than a multi-species vet. As for it being "exclusionary" or underutilizing your degree, the same could be said for any field in vet med. Equine vets only see horses, Large animal vets only see farm species, poultry vets only see poultry and well you get the point.
    Part of my interest lies in doing mixed animal medicine, so I could say that I can't imagine not working on dogs, cats, cows, goats and sheep and feel that only working on dogs and cats would be under utilizing my DVM. Whatever area you choose to practice in vet med you are going to be excluding some other area or species. You pick the area based on what your interest is and no matter what the area, I'm sure there is a market or a need for it and you do the best you can to meet that need.
    Cats only practices are fairly common in my hometown. I'm going to school right now in a rural area so everyone is mixed animal pretty much. I think if you looked a little harder in major city areas you'd probably see many more cats only practices.
    Hope that gives you some insight although I'm not looking to do cats only.

    Sara
    Last edited by ToraB; 03-07-2007 at 08:11 PM. Reason: to fix spelling errors

  3. #3
    Doc4Pets is offline Member 510 points
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    Thanks for contributing Sara! I appreciate your perspective... it's small animal (dogs/cats/birds) for me too. I just like to find about different aspects of this great profession. Now equine only practice... that is a MAJOR lifestyle commitment and it is a VERY niche market. Despite all the hurdles associated with having a successful equine only practice, there seems to be a limitless supply of horsey vet hopefuls. Just the thought of living in a rural area and slogging through farms/stalls is DEPRESSING. I'm an urban dweller... the city life has too much to offer especially in cali.

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